Facebook in talks to acquire Microsoft advertising tech, claim sources

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7 Dec, 2012

Social networking giant reportedly wants software firm's technology, which could allow it to display ads on third-party websites.

Social networking giant Facebook is in negotiations with Microsoft about buying some of the advertising technology it gained through its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive.

The deal could allow the social network to displays ads on other websites, broadly expanding its advertising business, according to media reports.

Facebook is in "serious" discussions with Microsoft about a deal to purchase Atlas Solutions, claim technology blogs Business Insider and AllThingsDigital.

The deal could allow Facebook to significantly expand its advertising business by showing ads on third-party websites, mounting a challenge to Google's DoubleClick ad network, said the reports, which cited anonymous sources.

The potential price for the acquisition was unclear, though Business Insider said the highest bid for Atlas in Microsoft's previous attempts to sell the business was $30 million.

Facebook and Microsoft representatives declined to comment.

Facebook has roughly 1 billion users and has been moving aggressively to bolster its advertising business with new capabilities, including ads on mobile devices and features that demonstrate the effectiveness of its ads to marketers.

Facebook currently generates 86 percent of its revenue, which totaled roughly $1.3 billion in the third quarter, from ads that appear on its own website.